Ünloco Healing (Maverick)

Healing (Maverick)

Record Reviews

Ünloco

Healing (Maverick)

Great name, Ünloco. Best umlaut since you-know-whü. The legend of their discovery -- guitarist Brian Arthur gave the Austin quartet's demo to Goldfinger singer John Feldman while getting an autograph after a Back Room gig -- great copy. Turns out Feldman is one of Madonna's boy toys over at Maverick A&R. Even the artwork on Ünloco's brand-new debut is killer. Bull fighter-rific. All the more reason why it's unfortunate that the actual music on Healing merely confirms all your worst suspicions about multi-mega-corporate major-label metal. Too heavy for most FM rock stations, but not heavy enough for underground airwaves, Ünloco rages the middle ground known as mainstream. Remember Soak, another local Cinderella signing from a few years back (someone at Interscope heard their demo through the wall)? Same story here: sledgehammer sounds, but with all the edges sanded clean. The industrial guitar pulse to "Clean" and "Far Side," the gaseous, churning bassline "Panic" -- Bush-league. "Face Down" is Alice in Chains deplugged. Joey Duenas is possessed of a deep, strong bellow, but lacks that scary Todd Lewis/Toadies-type scream to blow the house down. Healing ultimately learns on a curve, getting more fierce as it goes, "Nothing" "Less of," and "Reckoning" pulling out most of the stops, but by then Ünloco has clearly not stuck to the wall.

**

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